News from MaryAnn

Love in the time of coronavirus

Dear readers, I hope you are staying grounded during this time of uncertainty and fear. I recommend going outside in your bare feet and walking around on some grass, as often as you need.

Feel your feet sink slightly into the grass atop soil softened by the recent Austin rains, with each step. Enjoy the coolness, the textures, and the sensations in your feet.

Imagine this connection with Mother Earth moving up your legs, into your torso, touching all of your tissues, permeating all of your cells, and leaving your body through the crown of your head.

You are connecting to earth and to heaven! This energetic experience is about being fully alive in the present moment. It’s a renewing and restorative experience to counter upsetting news, conflict on social media, fears for ourselves and our loved ones, uncertain futures.

In my yard…

Integrative tele-healing sessions

I’m changing the name of my new online service to Integrative Tele-Healing Sessions. Bear with me as I navigate my way through this rapid change…as I’m sure you’re doing as well.

Quite a few CST practitioners are adamant that working remotely is not craniosacral therapy. (Plus the words “remote” and “distance” run counter to the connection we make with our voices, intentions, and energy fields, even when we’re not in each other’s physical presence.)

This attitude is coming both from those who are Upledger-trained and those who are biodynamics trained.

I’ve trained in both, and I’ve trained in Reiki, which can be done at a distance.

In my ninth year of offering bodywork, I can only say that when I work, everything I’ve ever trained in and experienced informs my work. What I’m using at any given moment is what’s in the forefront of my awareness.

That could be what I’m sensing in your body, what I’m sensing in my body, what I’m sensing in our blended fields, where your body-mind system draws my curiosity or my hands, the changes I notice during a session. “The work” flows through us both.

Years ago, it became clear to me that I could not do bodywork without also being aware of my energy, your energy, the energy in the room, and the power of our intent to influence energy. For experienced massage therapists, especially those who are yogis or Qi gong practitioners, bodywork is also energy work.

This may sound woo-woo to some, but for me, energy is real and can be sensed, usually as subtle sensations but sometimes not subtle. This energy is described in the ancient traditions, yoga, meditation, Qi gong, shamanism, Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda.

If you’re a doubter, rub your palms together briskly for about 30 seconds. They will feel warm. Now hold them a few inches apart. Can you sense something between your hands? Practice moving your hands apart and together. Notice. What you sense between your hands is energy.

We have energy centers and channels in our bodies. We have awareness. We have intent. We have our senses, our speech, our imaginations, our discernment, our intuition, and we have technology. We’ll put these to use in our sessions.

Anyway. Other practitioners are calling it energy work, remote healing, distance sessions, shamanic energetics, etc.

I prefer Integrative Tele-Healing Sessions. Clear and simple and not too woo-woo.

You need to have some uninterrupted time for a session. You make yourself comfortable in your home (seated or lying down), and be open to communicating and receiving. I guide you into a more relaxed state, and we explore what emerges.

I stay connected with you during sessions, even through periods of silence that allow “the work” to go deeper.

I’ll be learning how to Skype, but we can also connect with just our voices on the phone. More on that when it’s ready.

I want you to feel free to share what’s coming up for you in real time, if you wish.

At the end of the session, you can schedule another session if you would like. I’m offering a sliding scale rate of $50 to $100. Tips are appreciated but not required. You can pay me through Venmo or PayPal.

Schedule 90 minutes

Schedule 60 minutes

I’m also planning to offer sessions through Groupon. More on that when it’s ready.

You can also give sessions to others through gift certificates, to be used now or later when I can safely offer in-person sessions again.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Call 512-507-4184 or schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Coronavirus precautions

If you have a fever, cough, sniffles, cold, or flu symptoms, please let me know so we can reschedule your appointment. There will be no charge for cancellations within 24 hours.

Some of the people who come to our offices are infants, elderly, or otherwise people whose immune systems may not be robust. We want to do what we can to protect them and everyone, including ourselves, from getting sick.

We have tissues in the waiting room and the bathroom and soap for washing your hands. We practitioners wash our hands well between seeing patients. (This was our practice long before coronavirus — it’s part of our training.)

I keep hand sanitizer available to use in my office,  and I use it myself on my hands as soon as I complete an intraoral TMJ treatment and wash them well after each patient leaves. We are wiping down doorknobs, light switches, faucets, and other objects frequently touched as well.

I am 60+ and very healthy. I had a mild, 2-day cold in fall 2019, and I could not remember how long it had been since my previous cold — it was at least 3 years. My immune system appears to be strong.

However, if the coronavirus starts spreading in Austin from person to person, I may decide to put my work on hold, simply because it seems to be more severe for older people and no one knows exactly why.

Thank you for your consideration as we move together through this uncertainty.

Speaking about my work…

Today I have the good fortune to be interviewed on Mind Body Radio at 10-10:15 am CST. You can listen on the Internet live or find my interview afterwards. Here’s the link: https://mindbodyradio.com.

Sunday I hosted a brown bag education session on craniosacral therapy for 10 of my fellow members of the Austin Wellness Collaborative. I spoke for about an hour about how I got into CST, its evolution and branches, and answered questions. Then I did a demo, talking about what I was doing and sensing, on a fellow AWC member, who also commented on what she was noticing. Success!

Coming up, on January 29 I will be talking to the staff at the office of Dr. Elizabeth Raine, DDS (my own dentist) about what I do and asking questions about what they notice and how they work with TMJ issues. This will be my first talk with a dental office.

It feels good to be doing more educational work, continuing to get the word out that skilled manual therapy can relieve TMJ symptoms.

If you know of an opportunity to educate, please keep me in mind.

Coming attraction: yoga for the jaw

I’m announcing now that I intend to create a “yoga for the jaw” class by the end of this year. There’s a sweet overlap of demographics: women of child-bearing age are nine times more likely than men to have severe or chronic TMJ issues, and this group also tends to take yoga (and Pilates) classes.

My plan is in the seedling stage right now. I have so much to learn and discern.

It feels good to get back into teaching yoga. I completed teacher training 10 years ago and taught restorative classes for a while. I’ve been practicing since 1982 and have been especially devoted since 1996 after a car wreck. I’m drawn to alignment-oriented classes and teachers, both for my own issues and as a bodyworker.

To this end, I will be taking a workshop from a highly-regarded yoga teacher in Dallas in late September. Embodied Dharma: Yoga, Connective Tissue, and Inter-Being is being offered at the Dallas Yoga Center by Tias Little, who created and teaches Prajna yoga.

Learning from Tias has been on my bucket list for a decade, and I’m finally doing it! Prajna means wisdom in Sanskrit, and Prajna yoga is more comprehensive than most yoga, including more of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s yoga into practice, as well as anatomy and somatic awareness. Tias includes aspects of Buddhism and craniosacral therapy — interests we share — into his teachings.

I am especially looking forward to learning more about yoga for the cranium, jaw, and ear from him.

Thank you, Anna Gieselman, a Prajna teacher at Castle Hill Fitness in Austin, for letting me know about this workshop!

If you’re interested, Anna is teaching a free Prajna yoga class on Labor Day, Free Day of Yoga, at Castle Hill’s downtown location. You can reserve your spot here.